Bribery Act 2010 (hereafter, the “Act”) came into force in the UK on 1 July 2011.
While the Act is part of the national law of the UK, it also applies to foreign companies operating part of their business in the UK, such as by way of a liaison office or subsidiary, as the Japan Ship Owners’ Mutual Protection & Indemnity Association (hereafter, the “Club”) does.
It is not just the Club which must comply with the Act. Correspondents handling claims etc. on our request must also comply, as must lawyers and surveyors working on our behalf.
The Act stipulates bribery offences
- Bribing another person
To offer, promise or to give a financial or other advantage to another British or foreign person.
- Being bribed
To request, agree to receive or accepts same advantage as above by British or foreign person.
- Bribery of foreign public officials
To offer, promise or give same advantage as above to a foreign public official.
- Failure of commercial organisations to prevent bribery
This covers the case where a commercial organisation’s associated person bribes another person, the relevant commercial organisation who failed to place adequate procedures designed to prevent associated person from bribing.
Penalties against the above offences are follows, and there is no time limits given for the prosecution of these offences;
Individual: Imprisonment up to 10 years and/or Fine (Unlimited)
Corporate: Fine (Unlimited)
Club responses to the Act
In order to counter bribery, the Club established its Anti-bribery policy. The policy states that the Club takes a zero-tolerance approach to bribery and corruption and is committed to acting professionally, fairly and with integrity in all its business dealings and relationships wherever the Club operates. Also, the Club will uphold all laws relevant to countering bribery and corruption in all the jurisdictions in which the Club, its staff and all its associates operate.